Hello again to whoever reads this.
I am very happy that you spare couple of minutes and read through my thoughts out loud… This is what is happening in my head in last couple of days.
So two days ago I started a petition to help tennis players to be heard by ITF, after I talked to many of the people I know and about what are their plans for next three month, I realized that some people won’t even be able to have food. It is very weird to listen that professional tennis players struggle with food, but that is reality. Half of the people I know work on side, coach or play club matches, and since the world is on shut down that is impossible to do,
While tennis is very highly paid sport on high level, it is very low income thing on a middle and lower level, you have to be inside of top 100 to make benefit, and top 100 is very high level.
Anything lower then that struggles with living.
I honestly don’t know problems of everyone, honestly did not expect of how many of tennis players struggle, but well now was the time to talk. I have enough time to think and to write so I decided to try to do something.
I will not say that I am in the worst position on the planet, honestly I am healthy, I will have food on the table and my family is doing good, but I know people who feel far worse than me.
So I started a petition, because ITF is our organization, we pay licenses, we pay fines, we pay entry fees and finally no organization will live without their employees. Top players are great to have for the crowds on center courts, but if the majority quits from lower ranked players, sport still won’t exist.
There are players who just started playing, who had injuries, who just try.
There are many lower ranked tournaments like 15k , 25k and etc. without players they won’t exist also.
My goal with this petition is not to gain money for players to sit down and do nothing, neither is my goal to raise sponsorship for every single player, nor did I demand anything sensational. I just wrote down simply that some players need support to EAT!
The amount of shit storm I got was incredible and very unexpected to me. People think I am asking THEM to do something or to pay my bills. Honestly I even thought I asked for LAMBORGHINI at some point.
I just don’t understand how is it okay for any other employees to ask for their salary from the companies while they are on shut down, why is it okay for everyone to demand something from government or their bosses, but we can not ask our organization to take care of us?
Just because we are young and we are athletes, we have to shut up?we have to suffer, we have to be hungry with grace? What is this stereotype? Tennis players are not football players, we don’t gain a million per year. Most of us don’t and don’t watch top 10 and top 20 players in the world. 90% gain totally other amounts of money. And it is also not football and basketball, where middle class player gets probably something around million or half a million per year.
Middle class tennis players gain just enough to eat! Maybe!
So none of them can afford three month of living. It is essential to read this sentence, not play tennis, three month to live and eat, not play tennis. Just to live.
One person commented that he is sure I have money to be good….. how are you so sure?
Anyway…. Moving on…
as I said what makes it so ridiculous for tennis players to ask for support? Why human laws and rules don’t work with us? What are we? supernatural?
Some people think I am some kind of spoiled brat and I am whining, in fact if you knew how I grew up or where I came from you would never talk.
My childhood was full of problems, my parents barely found ways to feed us, and 90s in Georgia was horrifying times. We had nothing and it was way worse then any shut down and any corona virus. The amount of times I was sick when I was a kid, I don’t think I can count. Did I die? No! And never my parents did whine or not try to do something for us. People from my country are raised differently, we are trained to survive any situation. So if something, I know that I will come out from any hard position possible. I lived through way to many hardships all my life and always managed to find a way. So I am sure I will find a way over one shut down too. If anyone, I am confident in myself in any situation on the planet. That is just how I am, so if anyone thinks that it is my problem, and I am trying to make something for myself out of this, that is just wrong!
My problem is that my sport will die as it is, it will die, because players who are ranked lower then 150 in the world will not be able to play.
Players lower ranked then 250 will not be able to buy food in two-three weeks time. So when you tell me that tennis is not important, I am not talking only about tennis, I am talking about the ability to survive.
So I don’t understand why is it annoying to the people that we ask our employer to help us get through this time?
Every employee of the company has insurance, health insurance, some sort of stable salary, and they also ask for support now. (not every person on the planet, but basic middle class companies)
We don’t have health insurance, we don’t have pension guaranteed, we don’t have salary and we pay wayyyy more then we gain, so how does that come out as a surprise that we have a lot of trouble now?
Health is very important and all of us agree on that and we will sit home (by the way I am in quarantine now), but there are also other issues that kill people except the virus.
Anyway as I am typing this , I almost know it makes no sense to explain anything, most of the people see what they wanna see and hear what they wanna hear.
I know that I always stood by what I thought was right, I always talked when I thought I should. And I always fought for fairness.
This is the situation which proved me and many of my colleagues one more time how wrong is our system and we stand in front of the huge problems. (not that we did not know it before)
And I will always stand for what I think is right, for me and for the people I care about. And if it is annoying to couple of people, I am okay with that.
This is probably the shortest possible preview of the things happening in my head in last couple of days.
And while tennis world is standing in front of one crisis, the world is facing another one.
So I wish each and everyone of you to STAY HEALTHY, be careful, follow the rules of hygiene, try to avoid crowded places and stay safe!
As for me I am going to start my morning routine and have my coffee, followed by my yoga.
Have a great and productive day planet!!!